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Olmert to D.C

Reader comment on item: Mr. Olmert Visits Washington

Submitted by Al Ramey (United States), May 17, 2006 at 20:18

Dear Mr. Pipes,

You and Ms. Glick are very good observers of the region. I usually enjoy reading your takes. Neither one of you, (nor I live) in Israel.
I doubt if you wore IDF uniform? Until you and members of your family do so on a continuous basis I believe, your criticism
is a bit shall we say is less valid as that that comes from respected voices from within.

(964 is IDF AUG. 1965 Call-Up)

I read your previous takes and I know that you mean well but you are not the one who does 30 days a year of reserve service.
As you know, the issue of defending Israel is a sore one because thousands (30,000 +,-) with predeliction to study religion and simply
dodge the draft do not serve. Therefore, the burden of defending the country falls on a smaller number of people.

We did the first 3 years service in the history of the country. The money that pays to protect 300,000 settlers comes from the same pool of funds that could go to help people who suffer from colon cancer or to upgrade the education in poor communities like Yeroocham or Mitzpe Ramon where unemployment is severe (where I served duing 1965-1967). The subsidized quality of life in the 'territories' is paid
for with increased poverty and higher crime rate inside Israel.

I find it somewhat disingenuous that those who never bear responsibility for shouldering the severe burdens of the occupation or what ever you wish to call it can comfortably opine from the East Coast of the U.S on what israelis should do and pay for.

Keeping the settlers in the territories is very very expensive and most unpopular. keep in mind that the majority are of a particular
political and religious bend, not the so called rainbow coalition of the israeli public. They are a belligerent and utterly unreasonable lot. I have been in nearly every legal settlement in the territories and know the story well since its inception.

The costs of life (that of young soldiers being killed during operations) is less justified than if we were attacked and retaliated the way it was done during the 50's, an era I doubt if you can recall! Why not let Israeli strategists figure it out or maybe write about it after consulting with
the better minds in Tel-Aviv before becoming a self appointed Middle East strategist?
I think we have a few good men who could help you think it over!

Sincerely and respectfully,

Al Ramey

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Daniel Pipes replies:

Firstly, Caroline Glick does live in Israel.

Second, and more important, one does not have to live in Israel (or, for that matter, the Arab countries) to have opinions about the Arab-Israeli conflict. To take one example, the president of the United States does not live in Israel but has important views on its foreign and defense policies.

I approach this topic as a U.S. foreign policy analyst. I don't think one needs to live in Israel to do that.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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